A robust calendar of free programs exploring art, culture and the environment from organizations across New York will celebrate the diversity of the city
New Yorkers are invited back to enjoy the Island’s acres of expansive, open park space, car-free cycling, play areas, hammocks and spring blooms all with unforgettable views of the Harbor
Governors Island opens on Tuesday, May 1 and will be open every day through October 31
Ferries will be free for all visitors opening week, May 1-6
April 5, 2018. New York, NY. The Trust for Governors Island (The Trust) today announced its six-month public season and spring program calendar. Beginning May 1, New Yorkers are invited to enjoy the Island’s open and expansive park spaces with unforgettable views of New York Harbor, car-free recreation and a robust calendar of free public programming just a short ferry ride away from Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. Building on a record-breaking 2017 season welcoming nearly 800,000 visitors, Governors Island will be open every day from May 1-October 31. Ferries will be free for all visitors during the first week of the season, from May 1-6.
“For the second year in a row, from May to October, New York families and friends can explore, on bike and on foot, the history and cultural diversity of our amazing island park – Governors Island. Enjoy!” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“From May to October, Governors Island is the easiest way for New Yorkers to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, gather, relax and discover something new,” said Michael Samuelian, Trust for Governors Island President. “Come May 1, a world away awaits, and we invite all New Yorkers to explore free arts programming from all corners of the city, a one-of-a-kind park in the harbor and springtime blooms in a car-free environment.”
Kicking off the season, the Island will host several special events in May. On May 12, NYC Bhangra will celebrate the start of spring with Holi Hai, a free festival featuring traditional Indian and Nepali dance, music and celebration in a sea of color. For classical music lovers, Rite of Summer will host free concerts throughout the season, starting with performances in Colonels Row on May 19. Returning for its 14th year, the Friends of Governors Island will present its annual free Family Fun Day on Sunday, May 27, featuring live music, theatrical performances, storytelling, arts and crafts and hands-on education for families.
During opening week, from Tuesday, May 1 to Sunday, May 6, ferries to Governors Island will be free for all visitors, including daily service from Lower Manhattan and weekend service from Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6. New Yorkers will be invited to experience the first taste of the Island’s spring blooms within its over 90 acres of public open space. The Island’s diverse food offerings, including popular waterfront bar and restaurant Island Oyster, will open for the season on May 1.
This year, nearly three dozen non-profit organizations working in the arts, the environment and education will activate the Island’s historic former officer’s homes in Nolan Park and Colonels Row with free public programming throughout the season. Nolan Park will anchor season-long exhibitions, offering a variety of programming that responds to the Island’s unique landscapes, ecologies, histories and relationship with the Harbor. Free exhibitions will be showcased throughout the season, including programs produced by returning organizations Children’s Museum of the Arts, the New-York Historical Society, the Billion Oyster Project, NYC Audubon, Dysfunctional Collective and HoloCenter.
Building on the Island’s reputation as a leader in sustainable urban design and track record in engaging audiences in climate-related topics, new organizations will increase environment-focused programming through multiple mediums, spanning visual arts, educational exhibits and hands-on workshops. Artist Mary Mattingly will expand her Swale project, a floating food forest built atop a barge that travels to piers in New York City, through new exhibitions in both the Island’s Urban Farm and Nolan Park that engage the public in farming and food access.Works on Water, a group show dedicated to New York City’s “sixth borough” of 520 miles of coastline, will bring artists and curators together to investigate water in the urban environment through artworks, theatrical performances and site-specific experiences.
Opportunities for children to engage in environmental programming will expand this year on Governors Island. Christodora will provide day-camp opportunities and public programming for children focusing on environmental exploration. The Island’s popular Urban Farm, home to GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden and the Compost Learning Center hosted by Earth Matter, will reopen on May 5.
The Trust’s unique platform for arts and culture celebrates the diversity of New York City, offering organizations from all five boroughs the opportunity to showcase exhibitions, performances and more to an expanded audience on Governors Island. In addition to season-long exhibitions, organizations from across the city will host free cultural festivals, performances and short-term rotating exhibits in Colonels Row. New organizations producing special events this season include ARTs East New York presenting The Gathering of Hands, a week-long cultural experience celebrating drumming, unity and community. The West Harlem Art Fund will present Early Encounters, a mixed-media exhibition that focuses on the early interactions of Governors Island’s first inhabitants, the Lenape tribe and European explorers.
The Trust’s 2017 commission by artist David Brooks, Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird: a Pre-History of Governors Island, will be extended into 2018 and will remain on view in Fort Jay through mid-summer. The sculptural installation winds through Fort Jay’s magazine and digs down to the core of Governors Island, telling the story of this ancient place through excavated core samples of cobbles, soil, silt, shells, clay and bedrock.
An exciting new public artwork, specially commissioned for the 2018 season, will be announced in the coming weeks.
“Governors Island is a gem in New York Harbor -- providing marvelous open spaces, fantastic views of the city skyline, and great artistic, cultural and educational activities. Just minutes from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, it’s clear why a record 800,000 people visited Governors Island last year, and I hope 2018 is once again a record year,” said New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh. “I’d like to thank the dedicated staff of the Trust, the Friends of Governors Island and everyone who has made the Island what it is today. I look forward to visiting this spring and summer.”
“The first of May is fast approaching, marking the exciting opening day of this year's public season at Governors Island,” said New York State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. “I have had the privilege of spending time on Governors Island, and I hope that with each new season, more and more New Yorkers will make the short trek to the Island. With incredible views and robust programming, Governors Island is one of the best places to visit and enjoy time with family and friends. I look forward to working with the Trust for Governors Island in continuing to make Governors Island a welcoming place for everyone.”
“With nearly 200 acres of lush greenspace and incredible views of New York Harbor, Governors Island has long been recognized as a dazzling world unto itself,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “This spring, as the Island kicks off a new robust six-month program calendar, more New Yorkers of every generation will have an opportunity to experience the wonder of Governors Island up close, learn about its rich history and participate in environmental programming to learn how they can be an active partner in the efforts to preserve and improve our environment. Thank you to Mayor De Blasio, Michael Samuelian of the Trust for Governors and everyone who is a part of this programming for your commitment to secure the future of the Island and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to unlock its beauty."
“Governors Island is the crown jewel of New York Harbor – an incredible, 172-acre collection of green spaces, history, art and culture,” saidManhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “It’s my pleasure to encourage all New Yorkers to enjoy Governors Island during the spring, summer, and fall.”
“We all look forward to May 1 when Governors Island reopens,” said Anthony Notaro, Jr., Manhattan Community Board 1 Chairman. “It has become a jewel of lower Manhattan, indeed for all New York and the world. Wandering through and enjoying the Hills while taking in views of the city makes this such a special place, yet you feel like you’re in another world. We look forward to the new season and hope for even more exciting programing and developments. See you there…”
Visitors will also once again be able to enjoy guided programs exploring the rich history of the Governors Island National Monument. Fort Jay and Castle Williams will be open throughout the summer. The National Park Service will offer frequent ranger-led tours and may exciting programs. Visit www.nps.gov/GOIS for more information about upcoming tours and hours.
“The National Park Service is excited about partnering with the Trust for Governors Island and looks forward to its 16th season welcoming visitors to enjoy the Island’s stories,” said Shirley McKinney, Superintendent, Governors Island National Monument. “New York City welcomes more than 50 million visitors every year from all over the world to experience the many cultural and historical sites like Governors Island National Monument, Federal Hall National Monument, Hamilton Grange National Monument and other national park sites that make-up the National Parks of New York Harbor. We look forward to visitors exploring Fort Jay and Castle Williams and learning about the Island’s important role in the history of New York City and beyond.”
Opportunities for recreation and play expand in 2018. Adventures at GI will return with its zipline and climbing adventures, along with a brand new mini-golf course near Liggett Terrace opening in June. The Island’s play areas near Hammock Grove, play:ground NYC’s Yard, New York’s only adventure playground and New York City’s longest slide will offer fun for children and the young at heart. Kayakers will be able to access the Island’s kayak dock at Pier 101, including free kayaking with the Downtown Boathouse on weekends starting in June. Collective Retreats, a new overnight retreat will open later this summer, offering New Yorkers the opportunity to sleep under the stars in their own city for the first time on Governors Island.
New Yorkers will be able to enjoy miles of car-free cycling, strolling and jogging in the Island’s Historic District and in the Island’s park and public spaces, as well as the complete surrounding promenade. Visitors can bring their own bikes to the Island or rent one while visiting. Blazing Saddles’ Free Bike Mornings allows visitors to borrow a bike for free for one hour between 10 and noon every weekday. Citi Bike kiosks can also be found once again at Soissons’s Landing, Yankee Pier and Picnic Point.
“We can’t wait to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to this oasis in the Harbor,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “Governors Island’s 2018 season has something for everyone. Whether you love nature, art, science, sports—or simply relaxing in a hammock with an ice cream cone, our growing visitor services team is ready to help you plan the perfect visit.”
Below is the current calendar of events for May and June, as well as general information about the Island’s public access season. More details on exhibitions, special events and new Trust-led art commissions will be announced in the coming weeks. For the most up-to-date information, visit www.govisland.org. All events are free unless otherwise noted.
Graduate students from design and engineering disciplines will demonstrate interactive prototypes in a special event on Governors Island on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018
Havas New York with NYC Media Lab is producing the Havas Fellowship: Prototyping the Augmented Island in collaboration with The Trust for Governors Island. The preliminary 12-week program has already granted five teams of local graduate students $5,000 and the opportunity to apply their skills in emerging technologies (such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality) to tell the story of Governors Island, allowing future visitors to better explore the Island’s landmarks, culture and history with new mobile and narrative-driven experiences. On April 10, the students will present their prototypes at a special Demo Day event on the Island. The winning team, chosen by Havas and NYC Media Lab, will receive an additional $10,000 to further their project.
“Governors Island has a rich and diverse history that is still undiscovered by many New Yorkers,” said Michael Samuelian, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Innovative media technologies have the power to bring these stories to life in a way that balances the sense of exploration and enjoyment of public spaces.”
Announced last fall, the Havas Fellowship saw prototype applications from graduate students across NYC Media Lab’s network of city-based universities, with students from New York University, Parsons School of Design and The City University of New York ultimately chosen to participate in the program following a competitive application process. In addition to receiving $5,000 in funding, Fellows were given access to the 172-acre island for concept development during the parks’ off-season, access to a range of documents from The Trust for Governors Island’s archives (including maps, data, photographs, visitor data and landscape plans), and ongoing mentorship from Havas executives in creative direction and experience design.
“At Havas, we are in the business of creating experiences for our clients,” said Marc Maleh, the company’s Global Director. “Now more than ever, these experiences live across mobile and connect to the physical world.”
“With experience design, innovation and data science at our core,” added Laura Maness, CEO of Havas New York, “Havas is always looking to create meaningful experiences and learn from the next wave of thinkers, innovators and leaders of tomorrow.”
“Augmented reality technology and its influence on civic engagement is a major area of interest for NYC Media Lab,” said Justin Hendrix, Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. “Story-driven applications of AR can help keep the rich history of our city alive for all New Yorkers, while creating new economic opportunities within the city’s industries.”
April’s Demo Day event on Governors Island will debut the five prototypes to an audience of media, technology, advertising and civic development professionals. To learn more about the Demo Day and to request a Press/Media pass, please contact Alexis Avedisian, NYC Media Lab’s Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dandelion School: NYU Integrated Digital Media Team Member(s): Emir Fils-Aime, Gabriella Cammarata, Najma Dawood-McCarthy Description: Team Dandelion imagines a hidden, shape-shifting future museum exhibit that when discovered users can contribute their own wishes for their vision of NYC as well as listen to the wishes of previous visitors.
GLIMPSE: Inventing America School: NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program Team Member(s): Roi Lev, Anastasis Germanidis Description: GLIMPSE: Inventing America is an AR experience that takes the user back to the 1620s and the arrival of immigrants in what is now New York City.
See Level School: Parsons MFA Design + Technology Team Member(s): Lauren Malkani, Paolo Villanueva, Aarati Akkapeddi Description: See Level is an augmented reality application that explores how Governors Island has been engineered to fight climate change. Visitors will experience rising sea levels first-hand, see the geoengineering inside "The Hills" and explore a new future for NYC.
IslandAR School: CUNY Lehman / EON Reality Team Member(s): Cécile Ragot Description: IslandAR provides mysterious puzzle pieces that unlock shared AR experiences, hidden characters and fun stories from past and present on Governors Island.
GuideBot to GovIsland’s Past School: NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) Team Member(s): Charlie Moffett, Gaurav Bhardwaj, Isha Chaturvedi
Description: GuideBot to GovIsland’s Past is a Chatbot that guides visitors and shares local history as they explore the island. The bot responds to users queries and learns from every interaction to improve the experience.
About Havas New York
Havas New York is one of three full-service Villages and the flagship agency of Havas U.S., a powerful network of creative agencies with the most modern capabilities and talented people in the business. At Havas New York, we are breaking tradition in our category to inspire and help progressive CMOs speak the modern language of advertising through culture, design and technology—creating a better, more meaningful consumer experience. Creatives are creators who deliver work designed to inspire conversation in the real world, not the advertising space. Learn more at our website, ny.havas.com, or follow us on Twitter @havasnyc, Facebook and Instagram @havasnyc.
About NYC Media Lab NYC Media Lab connects digital media and technology companies with New York City’s universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and talent development. A public-private partnership launched by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYC Media Lab funds prototyping projects that foster collaboration across a range of disciplines core to the future of media; it also runs The Combine, an early-stage accelerator for emerging media and technology startups. NYC Media Lab is currently developing the city’s first publicly funded VR/AR Center in conjunction with NYU Tandon School of Engineering, following an investment from the New York City Economic Development Corporation and The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. More information is available at http://nycmedialab.org.
New natural turf field for soccer, football and other sports and recreation uses available for the first time, from April 1-November 31
The Trust for Governors Island today issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (‘RFEI’) for sports and recreation uses at the Parade Ground Athletic Field on Governors Island. A former nine-hole golf course utilized by the US Coast Guard until the mid-nineties, the Parade Ground was recently restored by the Trust into a 500’ by 250’ flat, natural turf field, large enough to host a range of sporting events and practices, including soccer, football and more. The fields will be available to youth leagues, schools and adult leagues during daylight hours during the Trust’s public season, which runs May 1 to October 31, as well as during the months of April and November.
“Governors Island is New York City’s backyard, and we’re delighted to expand places for New Yorkers to play sports and be active,” said Michael Samuelian, President of The Trust for Governors Island. “The new Parade Ground Athletic Field offers an incredible setting for sports practices and matches, and we invite youth, adult and school leagues to help us bring this new resource to life.”
The Parade Ground Athletic Field, a roughly 7.5 acre site located in the heart of Governors Island’s Historic District, was recently regraded in 2017 to create a consistent level turf grass field large enough to host soccer, football, rugby, lacrosse and other sports matches and practices. The Trust envisions a range of athletic and recreational uses of the site by multiple organizations who will share access over the course of the Island’s public season. Non-profit youth and public school leagues are especially encouraged to submit proposals.
The field is available from May 1 to October 31, 2018 subject to certain blackout periods necessary for turf maintenance and other events. The Trust also invites organizations to propose use of the field during the shoulder season months of April and November in 2018.
The fields will be delivered to selected respondents to this RFEI in its “as is” condition. In order for the Trust to understand the operational impacts of the proposal, respondents are encouraged to outline and describe in detail their needs for utilizing the site, including but not limited to additional equipment required such as goal posts and nets, line paint and temporary seating.
To submit a proposal for use of the field, organizations must respond to the RFEI found on the Trust’s website. Each submission must include a field usage plan, description of the organization’s mission and impact, site needs and qualifications. An information session and site visit will be held on February 15, 2018 with a limited number of additional sessions available upon request. RFEI responses are due on March 6, 2018.
More information about the Island and the Parade Ground Athletic Field RFEI can be found at govisland.org. Images of the Parade Ground Athletic Field can be found here.
Today, the Trust for Governors Island announced that for the first time, New Yorkers will be able to sleep under the stars in their own city on Governors Island! Beginning in May, Collective Hotels & Retreats will bring unique, temporary seasonal lodging against the back drop of the Island’s iconic views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, New York Harbor and Statue of Liberty. As part of their operation, Collective will open a new public lawn with free programming and new dining options for all visitors to the Island during the public season, and is committed to partnering with local non-profit organizations to offer opportunities for NYC youth to experience camping on the Island.
As part of a three-year license agreement announced today, Collective Retreats will transform six acres of the Island’s Western Development Zone into a unique, environmentally-friendly overnight lodging retreat with unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty. Collective Governors Island, a New York City Retreat will accommodate up to 100 overnight guests who will be able to select from a range of lodging options. The company currently operates in the Hudson Valley and in Big Sky Mountain near Yellowstone National Park. Collective Governors Island is its first venture in New York City.
Collective Retreats will also create a newly landscaped public lawn on the site with special events and programming such as live music, innovative dining, recreation, wellness activities and much more. During the Island’s public hours, the site’s lawn and dining options will be open to all Island visitors. In addition, Collective Governors Island will host special community nights for non-profit youth organizations, making the site accessible for New York City kids to experience a night on the Island under the stars. For more about Collective Governors Island, visit www.collectiveretreats.com.
Late last year, Collective Retreats responded to a Request
for Proposals (RFP) that The Trust issued in October 2017. The RFP sought
interim, temporary entertainment and recreational uses for the Western
Development Zone, a flat paved site located on the Southern portion of
Governors Island. The Trust received a broad range of proposals that were
evaluated based on impact to Island operations, fit with the overall character
of the Island, demonstrated operational experience and proposed fee offer.
These new interim uses for the Western Development Zone designated today will
offer fresh, exciting opportunities for visitors to experience the Island in
new ways. Site fees generated by these interim uses will go towards funding the
Island’s operations and stewardship of over 90 acres of public open space.
Attention New York City thrill seekers! Adding to the Island’s already growing recreational offerings, Adventures at Governors Island will return this season with affordable, family friendly activities. In 2017, Adventures at Governors Island welcomed 25,000 New Yorkers to its zipline, rock climbing and maze challenge along the Island’s western shore. This year, Adventures will expand with an even longer zipline, refreshment station and shaded area for onlookers. Located adjacent to the Island’s bustling Liggett Terrace and Hammock Grove, Adventures at Governors Island will reopen on May 1.
"Governors Island is known for its rich history, beautiful views, and leisure activities,” said Beau Berni, Managing Director of NY Carousel Entertainment. “We know its community of returning and new visitors will find Adventures at Governors Island a preferred choice for recreational family-fun. The 300 feet Flywire Zipline, giant Amazen' Maze, and Climbing Challenge walls will all return along with more comfortable amenities for our guests.”
New York Carousel Entertainment responded to a Request for Proposals (RFP) that The Trust issued in October 2017. The RFP sought interim, temporary entertainment and recreational uses for the Western Development Zone, a flat paved site located on the Southern portion of Governors Island.
Governors Island now accepting proposals for seasonal mobile vendors and food trucks at 3 sites
6 outdoor cafés and beer gardens to open in 2018 at Liggett Terrace and the Manhattan Ferry Landing
The Trust for Governors Island today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for seasonal mobile food vendors on Governors Island. Building on the Island’s reputation as a home for a diverse array of arts, culture and food, The Trust seeks proposals for self-contained food trucks and mobile vendors to provide high-quality, fresh and affordable food, coffee and non-alcoholic beverage options for visitors both during weekdays and on weekends. Vendors are invited to submit proposals to bring their food to Governors Island during the 2018 public season, which runs May 1 through October 31. The RFP is available on The Trust’s website. Proposals are due on March 9, 2018.
The Trust also announced today that in addition to Governors Island’s popular waterfront bar and restaurant Island Oyster, which will reopen in 2018, five operators will open six outdoor cafes, bringing an exciting array of dining options to Liggett Terrace Food Court and an additional option at the Manhattan Ferry Landing overlooking the Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. Anchoring Liggett Terrace, which serves as the gateway between the Island’s beautiful park and Historic District, is Little Eva’s Beer Garden Grill, returning for its 7th year on the Island from the team behind popular restaurant Kevin’s Red Hook, featuring grill items, craft beer and their popular frozen cocktails. In addition, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Colombian eatery Mi Pequeño Terruño and Pyramid Café will return to Liggett Terrace.
Governors Beer Co., a partnership between the duo behind Alphabet City Beer Co. and Eduard Frauneder from the popular East Village eatery Edi and the Wolf, will also return to Liggett Terrace for its second year to operate a beer garden pairing NYC-brewed beers with Austrian sausages and burgers. For the first time, the Governors Beer Co. team will expand their operation on Governors Island, opening a new pop-up featuring tacos, tequila and mezcal craft cocktails and more located at the eastern end of the Manhattan Ferry Landing.
“With more New Yorkers than ever spending the day exploring Governors Island during our six-month season, we’re delighted to continue to expand and diversify our food offerings,” said Michael Samuelian, President of The Trust for Governors Island. “We invite food purveyors from all five boroughs to bring their cuisine to one of the city’s most inspiring settings.”
The outdoor cafes announced today responded to The Trust’s RFP for Food and Beverage, released in the fall of 2017. The Trust’s highest priority for the Mobile Food Vendor RFP is to award seasonal permits to proposals that will complement outdoor cafes, providing high-quality food that reflects the diversity of Governors Island’s visitors and their appetites. This diversity should be reflected in the range of vendors, price points, types of cuisine and variety of choices within a given menu. Special consideration will be given to vendors who demonstrate sustainable business practices and utilize compostable service ware.
There are three sites available through this RFP. The first, the Kings Avenue Food Court is a tree-lined street flanked by historic buildings located at the heart of Governors Island adjacent to Liggett Terrace. Kings Avenue will be home to multiple sellers of different types of food. For the first time, The Trust will offer two additional sites to mobile vendors, one at the Governors Island Welcome Center, located behind the Manhattan Ferry landing for coffee vendors only, and one near Pier 102/NYC Ferry Landing and adjacent to Nolan Park, which serves as the center of Governors Island’s art and cultural activity during the season. Proposers are welcome to indicate a preference for one location or another, and may also propose food at both locations, as well as their days of operation preference. Use of these sites will be permitted for one season during the six-month period from May 1 through October 31.
Since opening to the public in 2005, mobile food vendors and food trucks have been at the heart of the Island’s food and beverage offerings, with dozens of vendors from all five boroughs feeding the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who visit each season. The RFP released today presents an exciting opportunity for New York City food vendors and small business owners to be a part of one of New York City’s most unique and beloved public spaces and recreational destinations with a fast-growing audience.
To submit a proposal for a temporary food vending permit, visit www.govisland.org. Proposals are due on March 9, 2018 at which point The Trust will review all applications received. The Trust will be in touch with Respondents in late March.
Governors Island is open seasonally to the public between spring and fall. An increasingly popular and accessible seasonal destination just minutes from Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, the Island is home to nearly 90 acres of expansive open space, a rich calendar of public arts, educational and recreational programming and spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, harbor and Lower Manhattan skyline.
In 2018, Governors Island will be open every day from May 1 through October 31. The Island is open from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and from 10 AM to 7 PM on weekends, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.
Mayor’s Office of the CTO and Trust for Governors Island Announce Connectivity Challenge Finalists
Three finalists selected for ‘Moonshot’ tech challenge will now test proposals for high-speed Wi-Fi and next generation “5G” cellular connectivity on Governors Island.
January 31, 2018. New York, NY. – Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño, Jr. and Trust for Governors Island President Michael Samuelian announced today the finalists of the NYCx Governors Island Connectivity Challenge, the first citywide ‘Moonshot Challenge’ through the NYCx program that will bring high-speed, low-cost wireless service to Governors Island in 2018.
The three finalists represent a broad range of start-up companies and entrepreneurs aiming to bring internet connectivity to the Island, while informing how to deliver next generation network infrastructure for “5G” cellular connectivity across New York City’s parks and neighborhoods.
The Connectivity Challenge Finalists:
1. Neutral Connect Networks LLC, based in West Palm Beach, FL, owns and operates wireless communications infrastructure in New York City and other U.S. cities.
2. Fiberless Networks™, based in Quincy, MA offers wireless technology with speeds of 1 Gbps and greater. Fiberless Networks will partner with Green Zebra and Cisco Meraki to test and build their solution on Governors Island.
3. Edge Fibernet, based in NYC, provides internet and phone connectivity to low-income communities in Times Square, Brooklyn and Manhattan’s lower east side.
Over the next few months, finalists will work with the Trust and the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer to test and build solutions on Governors Island. A final winner will be chosen for the Connectivity Challenge to deploy their technologies on Governors Island during opening season.
“I’m excited to see new tools and technologies breaking ground in New York and helping us move a step closer to achieving the Mayor’s goal of affordable, high-quality, high-speed internet for all New Yorkers,” said Miguel Gamiño, Jr., New York City Chief Technology Officer. “This Moonshot Challenge is helping us engage the right experts to accelerate connectivity, establish fair opportunity for everyone to participate in today’s world, and make tech work for people.”
“Congratulations to all the finalists for putting forward innovative solutions to the “Moonshot Challenge” of creating more opportunity for high-speed, low-cost wireless service on Governors Island,” said Council Member Peter Koo, Chair of the Committee on Technology. “We look forward to making sure Governors Island lives up to its potential as a world class location that connects the five boroughs in more ways than one.”
The Connectivity Challenge, announced in October, 2017 looks to encourage global entrepreneurs to propose and deliver bold solutions to the City’s most pressing challenges and further Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal to ensure every New York City resident and business will have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service by 2025. Through solutions proposed by the finalists announced today, the City expects to acquire new insights to advance broadband, Wi-Fi and 5G cellular service.
"In order to bring internet equity and access to all corners of New York City, we need innovative tech talent to come up with smart, effective solutions," said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. "The 'Moonshot challenge' encourages groups to think outside the box to bring fast and affordable connectivity to Governor's Island. Congratulations to all three finalists for all your hard work thus far, and thank you to Mayor De Blasio, Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño and Trust for Governors Island President Michael Samuelian for your efforts to bring exciting, transformative new programs like NYCx to Governor's Island."
"Internet access is now a critical link to economic opportunity,” said James Patchett, NYCEDC President and CEO. “This challenge will propel new connectivity solutions into New York City’s ecosystem, both improving the experience at Governors Island and moving the needle on equitable high speed Internet access for all New Yorkers.”
“We need real solutions for real people if New York City is to be the inclusive and prosperous city we all can survive and thrive in,” said Maya Wiley, Senior Vice President for Social Justice & Henry Cohen Professor of Public and Urban Policy at The New School and NYCx Technology Leadership Advisory Council Member. “And ‘moonshots’ will matter as innovation experiments like these help us build a 21st century bridge over divides we can no longer tolerate.”
"I am excited about supporting the innovative ways that the City of New York and the NYCx programming are encouraging entrepreneurs to work with New York to make the City a better place for all,” said Kevin Ryan, Chairman and CEO of AlleyCorp and NYCx Technology Leadership Advisory Council Member.
Governors Island, a popular seasonal destination for recreation, arts and culture with acres of park space beloved by New Yorkers, is undergoing a transformation into a community with year-round commercial, cultural and educational activity. The Connectivity Challenge winning solution will bring much needed service to the Islands hundreds of thousands of seasonal visitors, dozens of art and cultural organizations producing public programming and future year-round tenants.
“As the transformation of Governors Island continues with more and more New Yorkers delighting in all it has to offer, we have a unique opportunity to bring creative and innovative amenities to our visitors and community,” said Michael Samuelian, Trust for Governors Island President. “We are thrilled to partner with these entrepreneurs in unlocking the potential of next generation connectivity technologies throughout New York City’s public spaces.”
Finalists will receive up to $25,000 to showcase their solutions on Governors Island, a microcosm for larger islands globally like Manhattan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The winner will address the needs of the visitors of today and the multi-use tenants of tomorrow, while demonstrating their ability to mitigate risks associated with climate change, such as high winds, potential flooding, and storm surges.
“We’re honored by this opportunity,” said Ted Flomenhaft, CEO of Edge Fibernet. “Our network will deliver complete coverage and support for amenity and security services needed now and in the future to enhance management, guest and tenant experiences and objectives. EDGE’s powerful redundant Network Core permits us to deliver affordable Gigabit+ Internet services wherever we extend our Network Edge. We serve three immediately adjacent Governors Island communities, DUMBO and Sunset Park in Brooklyn and the Lower East side, which makes Governors Island a logical extension of our network and established technical support resources.”
“We are excited to be included in the final round of the bid by the Governors Island Trust,” said Louis Slaughter, CEO of Fiberless Networks, Inc. “We are pleased to showcase our solution which we believe will be the model for future Smart Cities as it will integrate the effective delivery of wireless communications and at the same time enable the efficient delivery of media providing actionable feedback for sponsors to generate and grow revenue.”
"Making it to the final round of the Challenge allows NCN to display a cutting edge, self-contained network on Governors Island that will be a showcase of what a world class, greenfield, wireless build can be in 2018,” said Paul McGinn, CEO of Neutral Connect Networks.
Launched in October 2017, NYCx is the world's first municipal program to transform urban spaces into hubs for tech collaboration, research, testing and development. New York City’s diverse population, economy and landscape offer a unique opportunity for technology companies to develop tools that improve the world. NYCx is a program in the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer.
About the Trust for Governors Island
The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust's mission is to transform Governors Island into a vibrant resource for New York City, making this island at the center of New York Harbor a destination with extraordinary public open space, as well as educational, not-for-profit and commercial facilities.
It may have warmed up this week, but who could forget the NYC snow storms (otherwise known as the 'bomb cyclone') that kicked off 2018? While you were all cozied up at home with hot chocolate (or out sledding in Prospect Park), our crews were hard at work keeping our grounds safe and clear for Governors Island staff and Harbor School students. Big thanks to our crews for keeping the park safe year-round!
Take a look below for some serene, snow-filled, bomb cyclone aftermath photos of Governors Island.
What a year we had! In celebration of our busiest year yet, we're pleased to share the Trust for Governors Island's first ever Year in Review. Take a look at our favorite memories of the 2017 season, how we're caring for your park and how we are planning for a future Governors Island that's open all year!
2017 was a blast, and you want 2018 to be even better. Help us make next season our best yet by making a donation to Governors Island. Your donation ensures that Governors Island remains a vibrant public resource for years to come.
The Trust for Governors Island is now accepting proposals for public programming in 2018 and beyond. Organizations and event producers working in the arts, culture, education and environmental science are invited to propose indoor exhibits, performances, outdoor festivals and more for the public to enjoy during the Island’s public season, which runs May 1 through October 31.
Governors Island’s art and culture program offers an incredible opportunity for organizations to expand to new audiences and produce groundbreaking, experimental programming in one of New York City’s fastest growing cultural destinations. A record 800,000 people visited Governors Island in 2017, with nearly 75% hailing from New York City, making it one of the most exciting venues for presenting groundbreaking public programming in the City. This year, The Trust will challenge proposers to submit programs and new projects that engage meaningfully with the Island’s unique history, landscape and diverse audience. Site fees will be waived for qualifying programs and events that are free and open to the public.
“Each season, Governors Island comes alive with countless opportunities to discover free programming in the arts, history and science, making it one of New York City’s most exciting cultural destinations” said Michael Samuelian, president of the Trust for Governors Island. “With more visitors than ever and a longer, six-month season, we’re delighted to offer a wider platform for organizations to showcase programming to a growing audience”.
The Trust has a long history of offering New York City’s arts and cultural community a unique platform for expanding audience beyond a single neighborhood, and an opportunity to showcase work in the Island’s serene and historic settings. Through the Trust’s art and culture program, over 150,000 square feet of indoor space in dozens of historic houses and 25 acres of outdoor space are made available free of charge to organizations that create programming that is free and open to the public. Over 60 arts, cultural and educational organizations from across New York City participated in the program in 2017, producing over 80 events.
This year, for the first time, the Trust will also offer organizations the opportunity to propose indoor programming in Nolan Park, a collection of charming 19th century homes, for up to three seasons. When submitting a proposal, organizations will be invited to propose programming for a day, a weekend, multiple weeks or season-long. Programs that are season-long to multi-season will be eligible for indoor space in one of the Nolan Park Houses. Shorter-term programs will be eligible for space in the nearby brick homes in Colonels Row. In addition, outdoor programs, both free and ticketed, will be eligible for the Island’s expansive green spaces including the Colonels Row Lawn, Nolan Park, Play Lawn, Oval and the newly restored Parade Ground.
“Governors Island is a place like no other in New York, and its position at the center of New York Harbor provides myriad paths to question, explore, and engage with the public in sustained and profound ways,” said Meredith Johnson, the Trust’s VP for Arts and Culture, “With the revised proposal process for 2018, and the possibility of presenting a program over many years, our goal is to entrench art, cultural collaboration and innovative practice deeper than ever before into very heart of the Island’s future.”
An application, as well as additional information about hosting public programs on Governors Island, is available at govisland.org. The Trust encourages organizations to place an emphasis on public participation when proposing programs. Proposals will be evaluated based on fit and alignment with the Island’s diverse and dynamic arts and cultural programming, track-record of producing and organizing other programs and events and engagement with the Island as a site, including its history, ecology, architecture and relationship to New York City.
Qualifying proposals received between today and January 31, 2018 will be informed of their acceptance to the program with location assignments in mid-February. Proposals for season-long or multi-year programs must be received by this date. After January 31, proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.
The Trust will open an additional permit process for mobile food vendors, sports field and grill reservations in early 2018. For more information on spaces managed by the Trust for Governors Island, visit govisland.org. For information on the 22-acre Governors Island National Monument managed by the National Parks Service, visit nps.gov/gois.
In 2018, Governors Island will be open every day from May 1 through October 31. The Island is open from 10AM to 6PM on weekdays and from 10AM to 7PM on weekends, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.